What is the Learner Profile?
At the heart of the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) is the “learner profile”, a long- term, holistic vision of education that underpins all three programmes and puts the student at the centre of everything we do. The learner profile is the IB mission statement translated into a set of learning outcomes for the 21st century. The ten aspirational qualities of the learner profile inspire and motivate the work of teachers, students and schools, providing a statement of the aims and values of the IB and a definition of what we mean by “international-mindedness”.
"The learner profile unites us all with a common focus: on the whole person, as a lifelong learner. It applies to us all – student, teacher, parent or administrator – for we are all continually learning."
Source: What Is International Baccalaureate Programme - https://www.whatisib.com/what-is-the-learner-profile.html
The Learner Profile Aims to Develop Learners Who Are:
What Risk-Taking Means in a School
Tom Barrett states in his The Dialogic Learning Weekly, that you don’t have to look through many school websites or brochure copy, before stumbling on ’21st century learners’. The common pairing is to mention some vagary about culture or students as ‘risk taking’.
We need better definitions in education about what risk-taking means.
A student sharing an idea is a risk.
A parent visiting the school for a meeting might, for them, be a risk.
Approaching a subject in a new way might be a risk.
A teacher designing a different lesson for the first time is a risk.
A team engaging with new methods of professional growth is a risk.
Teams collaborating on a project is a risk.
It is dependent on the context, our perception of risk and the shared definition.
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Risk-Taking is Often Ill-Defined in Education
As leaders of learning we can put some parameters around this. Our starting point might be to have a shared understanding. Scott Mautz describes this as establishing the rules of risk taking:
Tom has seen so many leaders talk a big game about the need for employees to take risks, but when the risks don’t pan out, employees get hammered. Avoid this by establishing and broadly communicating what the rules of risk taking are. What constitutes a good risk? A bad one? Who needs to approve risks to be taken?
We can increase the definition of what we mean by risk and risk-taking actions. We can counter the vague platitudes of contemporary educational jargon.
Your Talking Points
How do different teams define risk-taking behaviours?
Why is risk taking important for us?
The Importance of Teaching Empathy as an ATL
Prior to the Enhanced PYP, empathy was an "PYP Attitude" attribute. In the Enhanced PYP, it has been subsumed into the Learner Profile under "Caring". Since empathy needs to be explicitly taught, I encourage PYP teachers to consider teaching empathy as an ATL skill under "Social Skills" (as it is in the MYP). Learn more about the importance of teaching Empathy.